Then in 2003-4 the bottom fell out of the American Dollar and we lost more than 45% of our monthly support. We went from being able to buy almost 9 Croatian Kunas to buying 4,8 Kunas for one American Dollar. We tried to wait it out but eventually we realized that regardless of what the dollar was "going" to do we were gonna have to sell our house. As much as I loved that house the Lord gave the peace we needed to do what needed to be done. Soon the house belonged to our national co-worker and his sweet family of 6. We were back renting.
We continued to rent and try to stay afloat all the while waiting for the Dollar to make it's comeback but it didn't. We kept waiting hoping we wouldn't have to take a furlough to raise more support but after 1.5 years or barely making it and using credit cards to survive including groceries we finally figured that it was time. We took a short furlough, maybe 6 months and then we were back. We did manage to raise a little more support but we were hopeful the Dollar would improve and so we didn't raise a lot.
Long story short, we would work at getting out of debt only to have an emergency come up and plant us in deeper debt. Someone would get sick and have to go into the hospital, the church vans would break down, our car would break down, it was always something. We would help others and would always give but we could never seem to get out of debt. We were living outside our means obviously but we had no idea how or where the money went.
I'd like to stop rambling just long enough to say, then I'll start again, I know we have survived despite our stupidity because we always put God first. We never robbed from Him or stopped giving to missions and I know that's why we made it. God was keeping up afloat.
Then we went into a new stage of life and our children started leaving for college. Okay, lets just pile some more debt up there. We would always attempt to get out of debt but between being over extended in the ministry here and also personally it was beginning to be hopeless.
During this last 2 month furlough through a chain of events we heard about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and bought the kit. We had heard Dave on the radio and heard all the different people who testified to being out of debt but we'd never given it much though. Anyhow, we arrived home 5 weeks ago and started the plan. We watched an hour+ seminar with Dave teaching the steps to financial peace and we immediately started. We follow the plan to a T. If Dave says it we do it. If he says that's stupid, we don't do it. We have learned so much and we are well on our way to financial peace. We have already funded our emergency fund and now we're working on debt retrement and I have to tell you it's amazing to see that debt drop. It's actually shrinking and we can even see a pay off date.
Neither Johnny nor I grew up in money savvy homes and we were taught to live week to week. Get it, spend it and then wait to get more. We just had no idea until now. Not only are we watching our debt shrink but we actually have more money each month to live on. We're eating better and we have money for clothes, which makes me happy. If it's needed then it's budgeted and we actually have money. Before we weren't paying anything off and we still didn't have money. I am amazed at this program and wished we would have found it years ago, like 24 when we were first married.
I would seriously recommend this program for anyone who is having finacial woes. You'll be amazed at where your money is currently going and how fast you can begin to tell it where you want it to go. It's an amazing tool and Dave is great. I swear that man's been listening to the last 24 years of our married. He speaks such truth and has such knowledge.
And before I forget, his program is a Bible based program. He is a Christian and addresses money situations with Bible principles. You can tell me all day what to do and I may or may not do it but you tell me what God says and it's done.
Anyhow, Financial Peace University has been a lifesaver for us. We are only in the second step but we are well on our way to financial freedom and we can't thank Dave enough.
Daves famous saying is:
Live today like no one else so tomorrow you can live and give like no one else.